Gamba Osaka tumbled to their second defeat in as many weeks and had their lead at the top of the J. League table cut to one point after a 2-1 loss at FC Tokyo on Sunday.
Kashima Antlers missed a chance to reclaim the league lead after being held to a goalless draw by Cerezo Osaka in a match that saw both sides end with 10 men at Nagai Stadium.
At Ajinomoto Stadium, Gamba got off to a flying start when Brazilian defender Sidiclei headed home a corner after just two minutes.
FC Tokyo equalized through Yuta Baba on the stroke of halftime as the midfielder rifled a shot from 25 meters past Yosuke Fujigaya.
Yasuyuki Konno finally broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute by poking home a rebound after a free kick from Jo Kanazawa helped cause a defensive mix-up in front of the Gamba goal.
In Osaka, Kashima and Cerezo shared the spoils.
After Masashi Motoyama wasted clear-cut a pair of scoring chances for Kashima in the first half, Toru Araiba was sent off for bring down Cerezo forward Hiroaki Morishima in the 55th minute.
But Cerezo were also reduced to 10 men when Morishima’s former Japan teammate Akinori Nishizawa was shown his second yellow card eight minutes later.
Cerezo ended their seven-match winning streak and are fourth in the table on 50 points, behind third-placed Urawa Reds on goal difference.
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